Water Toxicity Detection using Genetically Engineered Yeast
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 100, Ithaca, NY, -
AbstractThe rapid evaluation of drinking water toxicity in the field is a necessity for the safety of our soldiers. To achieve field portability and sensitive screening for identification of toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) a handheld device that is biologically-based and easy to use with components that remain viable for 6 months would be ideal. In Phase I, Agave BioSystems proposed to develop an accurate and efficient cell-based biosensor using engineered yeast to rapidly evaluate toxicity in drinking water. Phase I results were highly successful in that Agave BioSystems developed a yeast biosensor exploiting yeast strains engineered to report changes in fluorescence upon exposure to chemical stress, resulting in proof-of-concept for this novel biosensor. This methodology utilized Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast measuring differences in GFP expression to ensure TIC detection accuracy establishing proof-of-concept for rapid detection of a range of toxicants between MEG and HLC. Additionally, this novel yeast strain can be lyophilized for long term storage and is expected to be responsive to several classes of TICs.
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